Practical ways dad can connect
Dear moms: sometimes it hard for us to identify with why our husbands can seem distant or disconnected from the kids. Chances are that there are a host of reasons dad is distant, and none of them are intentional.
One of the most common reasons dads aren’t as involved is because they simply don’t know how. Especially if your hubby comes from a family where his own father was missing or emotionally absent, this has a much greater effect on his parenting style than probably even he realizes.
It’s important that you don’t guilt him into spending more time with you and the kids. Proverbs has an awful lot to say about being quarrelsome (check out Proverbs 21:19), so let’s not be one of those wives! Encourage him when he does things with the kids, even small things. Let him know how much the kids love it when he’s around, and respect his activities ideas and opinions when he’s home.
Here are some of the most practical things you can do to help your husband spend times with the kids:
- On page 55 of her book Guardians of Purity, Julie Hiramine gives a shocking statistic: “Girls are 250% more likely to become sexually active if their dads aren’t involved on a predictable basis”. If your husband isn’t a reader, her section on the ‘Importance of Dads’ would be a great read aloud to your husband. It features very practical ways dad can spend time with the kids doing activities he does anyway!
- If dad travels a lot (or even if he doesn’t), one of the best things you can do is to offer him a happy welcome when he comes home. Pump up the kids – have them (and you!) come running when he comes home. Let him know he’s been missed, and what a vital role he plays in your family.
- Eat dinner together at least twice a week. Turn off the TV and dialogue! The average child will spend more time with a TV set by the age of 6 than they will with their fathers during their lifetime.
- 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates features 88 easy dates dad can do with daughters between ages 6-12. Many of these dates can also be done with your son.
- If you have a son between the ages of 9-14, check out the Teknon and the Champion Warrior series. It’s an incredible father/son discipleship program for teaching sons what true manhood is.
- Project Blessing! This short, easy-to-read book teaches parents the simple practice of blessing their children. This is something that doesn’t take very long but has tremendous impact on your children.
- Consider reading Gary Chapman’s book The 5 love Languages. Once you understand the concepts of each distinctive love language, head on over to their website where your whole family can take their online quiz for free (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/). Understanding what makes each family member feel loved and valued will make a tremendous difference in your relationships. It will also help you choose family activities that everyone will enjoy.